Sweeping new powers for language minister

Posted By: Angelica Montgomery · 12/10/2012 4:23:00 PM

A section of bill 14, the Parti Quebecois' new language legislation, would grant the language minister the power of a public inquiry while she investigates issues related to the status of French.

Using words like "scandalous," the Liberals say the easily overlooked section of the bill grants the minister quasi-judicial powers, and would launch what they call a "political language police."

Section 1.3 of the bill gives the minister, or anyone she delegates, the power to force companies, municipalities, or others, to testify before her, hand over documents, and take oaths.

Under the bill, those who fail to co-operate or sufficiently answer questions could be charged with contempt.

Reason unclear

"What's the justification? There is none," says Liberal interim leader Jean-Marc Fournier.

He argues that since the Office Quebecois de la Langue Française (OQLF) already has these powers, the only reason the minister would want them is to politicize the process.

Fournier says, under the new bill, the PQ could give a hard-line language activist the power to conduct an inquiry into any language issue he or she wants.

"It's highly contestable to launch a political police on language, when all you want to do is fuel your idea of separation," Fournier said in the National Assembly last week.

Reasonable

The language minister Diane De Courcy explains the new powers by saying the OQLF investigations are operating well. "However, in terms of the government, we shouldn't skirt our responsibilities when it comes to political powers," she said on Thursday.

"I think it's (the new powers are) reasonable under the circumstances, considering the importance of the question of the French language," says De Courcy.

Pauline Marois is accusing the Liberals of running a fear campaign.

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  1. jj posted on 12/10/2012 04:46 PM
    what I dont get is how marois 's prioritizing her language over a better health care system. Quebec has bigger issues then language problem all she's doing is very biaised. taking off the Canadian flag really? maybe once she doesn't have to use A CANADIAN passport. all this is nonsense whatever happened to freedom of speech freedom of language? a person to be in power like her and she can't even say a word in English properly, English is the national language of the world I will laugh when big investors won't want to do business in Quebec anymore leave her province more in debt not that she cares cause her inky priority in life in La langue francais it's ridiculously wrong shes a female Nazis that has no care about the people of Quebec
  2. fedup with bs posted on 12/10/2012 05:20 PM
    "However, in terms of the government, we shouldn't skirt our responsibilities when it comes to political powers," ------

    maybe someone in government should take a stand and get rid of these people we are spending tax dollars on--
  3. brian roberts posted on 12/10/2012 05:33 PM
    the liberals and the cac must not support this bill in any way . they must show there true colors when it comes to the language issues here in quebec. are the issues really that needy or do we need to invest all the money which is being wasted on this rather than put it where its required mostly like in health care and infostructure .
  4. Rudolph S posted on 12/10/2012 06:03 PM
    is that woman nuts....what does she think who she is, whoever voted for Marois and her Gang did not realize, what kind of Pandoras Box they opened, this Woman reminds me of a that guy Morsi in Aegypt or a certain wallpaperhaenger with a mustache....
    1. Rudolph S posted on 12/11/2012 05:00 AM
      @Rudolph S get a load of this...
      Under the bill, those who fail to co-operate or sufficiently answer questions could be charged with contempt.

      what is she going to do if I do not obey her like a little doggie, stick needles into me or hang me up by my b toes until I scream en francais (m l M)
  5. Aline posted on 12/10/2012 06:34 PM
    the P Q should not worry all the immigrantes that come to canada and to Quebec speak three or more different languages,,,, the P Q. is the only one with one language just french, and they do not want to try to speak English...,,, now tell me who is the ignorante here!!!!!!!!!!!.....We are very sadden with the P Q actions.
  6. Pierre Alexander Emond posted on 12/10/2012 06:39 PM
    The OLQF : What a friggin' ridiculous organization. What can the Quebec government do that more stupid than going around measuring the size of English letters? Let the market decide!!! If I'm stupid enough to open a business in a predominantly French area with only English signage, then I deserve to go out of business. It's that's simple.
  7. Lori posted on 12/10/2012 07:17 PM
    This stuff is bullshit!
  8. Joe posted on 12/10/2012 08:29 PM
    so many basic rights are violated here in Quebec against the people and no one is willing to stand up for us. We are disregarded and put aside as if we should forget our languages, our cultures and for get who we are for the political benefit of others such as the present premier. Would it make them happy to see us diminish in numbers? Will we have to identify ourselves as "anglophones" or "allophones" at some point? How far are they willing to go, how many more basic human rights are they willing to cut to? would they be happy to see us dissapear or be washed away with their "laws"?
    1. Ron posted on 12/11/2012 12:50 AM
      @Joe No one's going to stand up for us until we stand up for ourselves.
    2. Rudolph S posted on 12/11/2012 04:17 AM
      @Joe what's next, does the Language Tyrant Woman demad that all maudit anglais wear a red square with the letter A on their coat.... ( a longh time ago some regime in a far away land had a similar idea....)
  9. Murray posted on 12/10/2012 09:08 PM
    These people are serious? They make Joe McCarthy look like the Wizard of OZ.
  10. JohnH- posted on 12/11/2012 02:52 AM
    Well I have read all the comments and I'm surprised that it has taken this long for the public to wake-up. I'm a small business owner and I have been talking about this for years. Back in 2002-2003 I had the misfortune of having my office raided by the, (OQLF). The first time a man came into my office and introduced himself as a Quebec government Rep. that was interviewing small business owners about a employment program. I invited him into my office and immediately asked that he show me some ID. He asked why I would ask such a question. 'Well',I said, if we are going to discuss confidential information, such as the number of people that work for me and the cost of doing business, I should at the very least verify your credentials. At this point he became very uncomfortable. He assured me that I was not obligated to participate in the survey. That's when the hairs on the back of my neck went up. Fine then, you understand why I'm asking you for identification. At that moment things changed. He produced ID. that showed he was a (language cop). So, you misrepresented yourself in order to gain access to my premises. Oh no I informed you that I was from the Quebec government. Yes you did but, you said that you were conducting a survey on a small business employment program. Now I find out your a language inspector. His response, well what are you afraid of, do you have something to hide? That's when my stubborn Irish-Canadian back bone went in gear. Who the F%*# do you think you are that you think you can weasel your way into my office and try to intimidate me and fabricate your intentions. My father put his life on the line for this country so people around the world would not have to deal with people like you. At this point he asked me if was refusing to corroborate? I said"YES." And I informed him that if he did not leave my office, I would call the police. He laugh, for what reason? I said, for assaulting me. He said, I never touched you. Oh yes you did and I have (5) employees that will give testimony to your assault. Then he said, "You know things could go badly for you." At that point I thought I was in a bad WW II movie. I looked him in the eye and said, You have (10) seconds to leave my office before I call the police and my lawyer. He left. But it doesn't end there. (3) weeks later he comes back with a partner. Sends the partner in first and informs my employees that they are not to move from their desks and they are to answer any and all questions. By the time I got back to my office with my lawyer and the police the entire office was a disaster. Both (OQLF) inspectors were served and I filed a complaint with the police. At that point the police took me aside and said you don't have to make this a big deal. We will just have a talk with these guys and everything will back to normal. Thank goodness my lawyer was there. He informed the (2) cops that not only were we filing a criminal complaint but a civil complaint as well. you should have seen the expressions on those cops faces. And my lawyer reminded them how these civil court cases can last for years and years. That's when the cops took the (2) language inspectors out into the hall and had a little talk. When they came back (cops) they informed myself and my lawyer that we shouldn't worry everything had been straightened out. So there was no need for us to file any complaints. My lawyer disagreed. We filed. Now, you may ask, what did you do to have all this happen to your business? Good question. I interviewed a couple of people for a sales position and did not hire these people. Why? Because they could not speak English well enough to conduct business over the phone. And here is the kicker. I only do business outside of Quebec and the US. Go figure. So, for those of you that are sooooo surprised, don't be. This is Quebec and Canada's dirty little secret. You can not obtain freedom by standing on someone's throat. I know it's long but, it did happen. Let's see if main stream media prints this.
    1. lionel groulx posted on 12/12/2012 04:09 PM
      @JohnH- Wow what a hero ! It's guys like you that give English a bad name , Quebec is French you've had 10 years to figure it out . Why are you still here ?
    2. mawi posted on 12/13/2012 12:40 PM
      @JohnH- good for you - if more of us bothered to stand up to the harassment of these language police, and to quebec nationalists in general, they would have no choice but to back off. and had our businesses, municipalities, schoolboards etc been doing so since these out-of-control functionaries were set loose on us in the 70's/80's, the OQLF program would probably have had to be mothballed years ago - or at least radically modified. the only thing that allows this harassment to continue is the fact that most people/organizations bend and comply rather than challenging the legality and morality of their activities
  11. Michala posted on 12/11/2012 03:18 AM
    How long do we have to suffer with this PQ minority government? Our tax dollars will be used for increasing the French language while our health care, roads, universities and economy are getting big cuts? This doesn't make sense! It's time for a vote of non-confidence!
  12. alrev posted on 12/11/2012 06:19 AM
    Who appointed this woman as a judge! Is she a CANADIAN lawyer, did she pass the bar exams? It's time for the opposition to stand up and show us they earned our votes!
  13. Christina posted on 12/11/2012 06:27 AM
    I blame the students! I think they were the ones that voted for the PQ because of tuition hikes. Did they get a cut? Lol nope. Marios wants their money too. Do you think she cares really? She'll take all the money from her corruption and move to another province once she destroys Quebec. Seriously, what the heck is wrong with English? Is it that terrible? I guess billions of people must be wrong for speaking it. We should go back to Greek! Lol
    1. Rudolph S posted on 12/11/2012 11:32 AM
      @Christina well in this act the red square twitts did not get kissed......I hope their parents will explain how much more on taxes they will pay so that their little darlings do not have to pay a tuition increase for their underwater basket weaving courses....
  14. Mike D posted on 12/11/2012 10:21 AM
    Sound like President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi.
  15. Mike S posted on 12/11/2012 02:08 PM
    They just want to put enough pressure on the English speakers to make them want to move out icluding buisiness so the franco population will be higher, then it will truley be a french province and they can get any vote passed they want. they will cry to Ottawa for more mney and cry that theyre number of seats in Parlament will decline. Im going to ask The prime minister to step in .I strongly reccomend that you ALL do the same.its been quebecs secret weapon for soo many years " its the squeeky whell that gets the grease" Speak up all english people, from all over Canada
  16. gnicolson posted on 12/11/2012 02:46 PM
    well..why are we surprised....since taking office we have felt the lashes on our backs,

    she whips up a storm and sits back and watches ...no rebellions no protests no nothing.
    so why not just keep pushing the envelope...we haven't seen anything yet ....think like a hard line sovereignty member and you will see the motivation.

    nothing else matters except sovereignty..period...
  17. Mike_S posted on 12/11/2012 03:15 PM
    Many people have likened this PQ government to Nazis, this is a false comparison, granting the Minister "quasi-judicial" powers is more like the HUAC (House Committee on Unamerican Activities).

    Are you now or have you ever been an anglophone?
    Do you know of any others involved in anglophone activities? ....

    The problem with commisions of inquiry are that the commisioner in this case the minister gets to decide who they call to testify. In this case I can hardly imagine a situation in which the minister would call on someone to say that there is no threat to the french language in Quebec.
  18. gnicolson posted on 12/12/2012 04:25 PM
    something is terribly wrong...and i mean terribly wrong...

    the govt of Quebec is pushing hard to be uni lingual in french only ..at all costs.
    since inception of marois govt sweeping changes have taken place,most of them costly to the minority Anglo community.
    we have a say in Canada's future..or so we think..we have an ally in the federal govt.
    to protect our rights and freedoms.

    and then it happens...federal govt sends to Quebec a massive amount of money to promote of all things"BILINGUALISM"..HMM

    something wrong there? now either the govt of Canada isn't paying attention as to whats happening here..or maybe they cant read. i don't know...

    or worse case scenario...they don't care... gotta make you wonder...
  19. Judy Carlson posted on 12/13/2012 06:39 PM
    My Father, his brothers, my Uncles and Grand parent all fought in the wars to end wars, freedom for all, proud to carry their country's flag. They endured injury, freezing wet cold temperatures, meals we would not think to eat. They watched as friends lied dying in front of them. They died inside each time they had to take a life. But Marois, you are the largest insult they endure today, My Dad fought for me to live freely, tell me, where do you get the right to undo their most precious gifts, where do you get the right to annul their sacrifices. Even some Nazis today are ashamed, and so should your whole party be.
  20. Damion posted on 01/07/2013 05:08 PM
    For the love of god, I hop the Liberals and the CAQ make sure this bill died a VERY quick death. I will be at the Anti-Bill-14 rally in Montreal on the 17th!!!

    I cnnot begn to unerstand how anyone voted for Marois to begin with, but I really hope this bill shows what a horribly discriminatory leader she truly is and starts the beginning of the end of her political career.

    I know we don't have the money, but I would fully support another election...STAT.
  21. Chris Steele posted on 01/07/2013 09:07 PM
    Did I just unknowingly board a ship on the high seas? Because it sure feels like I did since it would appear we are under Maritime law in which one person (Marois) is Judge, Jury and Executioner. Were we are guilty until proven innocent by a member of her peers. Who do we swear allegiance to now? The Party? Boy sounds like the '40s are repeating itself with allophones being the scapegoat this time.
  22. Murray posted on 01/10/2013 05:19 PM
    A Quebec wide BOYCOTT commenced over a month ago and over 13,000 have seen the site.

    To view the site simply Google: Boycott Quebec / Boycottons Quebec

    The time has come to fight the Parti Quebecois in a way the PQ can be hurt.
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